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I'm almost sure that when the install got to 99,9% the last sector of the last floppy would be unreadable and the whole installation would abort...
@curaga I almost forgot about that! I think I managed to format some floppies with 1,72MB back in the 90's but I think there were some consequences to that. Can't remember what it was. I'm glad floppies died a long time ago
@AJenbo I never saw a drive that was compatible with them, although all my PCs had that option in the BIOS. Come to think of it I never even saw a 2,88MB floppy for sale.
Debian packages are an ar archive (same as static libraries), containing 2 compressed tarballs: the first has metadata, the second has the package content. I think they want to move from tar.gz to tar.xz for these two tarballs.
Actually, the first tarball is always gz-compressed for compatibility, the second may be compressed using gz, bzip2, lzma (deprecated) or xz.
The current default is still gz, as the package must explicitly pre-depend on an appropriate dpkg version to use anything else (>=1.10.24 for bzip2, >=1.13.25 for lzma and >=1.15.6 for xz). As the oldest still supported dpkg version (188.8.131.52 in squeeze) fully supports xz, the discussion is about dropping that requirement and making xz the default.
Also please note that the default for gz and bzip2 is to compress using -9, but the default for lzma and xz is to compress using -6, so unpacking an xz-compressed deb will only require 9 MiB RAM, not the 64 MiB RAM mentioned several times in this thread. That means that Debian would require approximately 32 MiB RAM to install, which I don't think is too onerous, especially considering that the official hardware requirement already is 64 MiB.
Last edited by Jonno; 07-11-2012, 12:26 PM.
Distro optimized for machines with < 64MB memory over normal machines that 99.9% of the user base will have -> user abandons and consequently installs a better distro.
See how that works? Everyone gets to pick what works best for them.
Okay, now you're just trolling. Equating bloat = better simply is not true. Bloat does not equal more pretty, more speed or more features. If the distro optimized for 64mb does exactly the same using less memory, how is that distro worse?
The real reason the format didn't make it is anyone's guess. Most probably it was due to the high price of media (four times the price of a 1.44 disk) and incompatibility with some controllers (meaning that you could buy such a drive, but it wouldn't work when you put it in your PC if you had an older controller.) And this meant that software wasn't offered on such disks, since the vendors wanted to be as compatible as possible. It's a vicious cycle: software comes in 1.44MB disks, so you don't need to buy a 2.88MB drive. People don't buy 2.88MB drives so software doesn't ship in 2.88MB disks...